The USA is getting colder by the year and scientists claim that the effects of this cold are likely to increase in the foreseeable future. While this sort of extreme climate change is happening throughout the world, farmers living in Northern America are having it the hardest.
So, if you are a farmer who wants to ensure that their farm isn’t ruined this winter then there are a number of steps you need to take. These include various natural techniques as well as usage of machinery. But keep in mind that no matter what techniques you employ, the peak winter will always be a period of inactivity for your farm.
We at Kelly Engineering believe in imparting knowledge that helps the agro community grow, so here are a few tips for maintaining your farm in the winter.
Grow leafy vegetables
The beginning of the winter season is the perfect time to grow vegetables such as cabbage and other leafy greens. What’s even better is that these vegetables face enhanced growth if there is a bit of frost. But at the same time if the temperature falls below -3 degrees then there can be damage to the crop and even destroy the produce completely.
Growing leafy vegetables can also help keep the nutrients in your soil intact for the next round of harvest once the snow clears. But make sure to timely remove the snow from the vegetable cover, otherwise your efforts will go to waste.
One of the best ways to ensure that your soil gets enough heat during winters is by laying a layer of manure beneath the topsoil before ploughing it. The manure will slowly decompose and give out heat that will remain within the soil and work against the effects of the cold. While dependence on manure is probably not the best way to protect your soil, in cases of extreme cold this is a useful method.
You can always try using natural forms of manure such as animal manure instead of chemical ones to make sure that you are causing the least amount of damage to the soil and the ecosystem.
Once the last crops for the winter have been harvested you need to create a topsoil layer that will protect the integrity of the soil. The best ways to do this is to thoroughly tillage the land and have a seedbed ready for the next season. Usage of modern tillage systems can be highly helpful since they cut down the stubble and allow it to disintegrate over time and give out heat.
You can opt for the Kelly Tillage System with its disc-chain mechanism that allows for shallow tillage. This helps break down the weeds and stubble to the root level so that it biodegrades naturally. Once the winter passes your soil will be rough and to perform a thorough tillage might seem difficult. The Kelly Tillage system will come in handy for such times as well.
Winter frames or seedbed frames are structures that protect your soil from the natural elements. These are typically used to create seedbeds; however, they work perfectly in protecting your farm from heavy snowfall. You can purchase a winter frame at any farmers market or order one online as well. However, for professional farmers finding one that fits the size of their farm can truly be difficult. In such cases the mix of various techniques need to be used along with the winter framing mechanism.
The American winter is becoming the most fearful foe for any farmer. And while the aforementioned techniques will subsequently protect your soil, this is still an impossible period to grow anything. As mentioned, before you can make the best of the beginning of the winter season by growing leafy vegetables, but once the harsh conditions set in you will have to let go of all farming activities.
If you run a mixed farm such as agroforestry or livestock-based farm, then you will be required to take further steps to protect your farm. So, make sure you prepare yourself and don’t let your farm fall to ruins!